Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tales for Twos and Threes - Self Esteem

This storytime focuses on body positivity and self esteem. I did this storytime today and a parent came up to me, thanking me several times for leading a storytime on this timely topic. I think it is really important to teach young children that they are unique and beautiful, no matter what skin color they are. I may just be a children's librarian, but I can make a difference in the lives of children by sharing books on these very important topics. 

1)   Introduction – This is the Way Our Hands Say Hello (to tune of the Mulberry Bush)

This is the way our hands say hello,
With a clap, clap-clap, Clap, clap-clap
This the way our hands say hello,
With a clap, clap-clap, clap-clap

This is the way our knees say hello,
With a tap tap-tap,
Tap tap-tap
This is the way our knees say hello,
With a tap tap-tap, tap-tap

This is the way we wave hello,
Wave hello, wave hello
This is the way we wave hello,
So early in the morning

2)   Flannel Board: Build a Pig 
I chose this activity because it's fun and it leads into our next book, I Like Me by Nancy Carlson. I don't want to take credit for this one, I actually found this idea from another storytime blog, Reading Chick. You start with a body and ask the children what else the pig needs. Match the wrong body parts, ask them if that looks right, and watch the kids yell out "NO!" Kids find this really funny when you add silly parts like an elephant's trunk to the pig's head instead of a snout. Love this one!

3) Book: I Like Me by Nancy Carlson

This is such a cute book :) It's seriously perfect for young children, ages 2 and up. It's short enough and has adorable illustrations while teaching very important concepts like body positivity and self esteem. My favorite pages are when she says, "I like my curly tail, my round tummy, and my tiny little feet." 

4)   Song: Pancake Manor - Move Your Legs

Love this song too. The "freeze" part is great and stops toddlers in their tracks!

5) Book: Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin

I seriously love this book. I've read this at three different storytimes already. The message is very powerful and it's presented in a way that is digestible for children. We all have skin! I also asked children a few questions throughout the book to get their attention. On the page that says "Whoops! When you fall, your skin will heal with a scab, a perfect seal." I asked children, "Who here has had a scab? Raise your hand if you've had a scab!" Many kids in the audience raised their hands. I also did this for the page that says "Sometimes skin has freckles" because I noticed some parents pointing out the freckles on their children's arms. It was cute to see the parents interacting with their children based on the text. :) Highly recommend this book for any storytime because of it's inclusive illustrations and celebration of diversity!  

6) Flannel Board: Five Ballet Dancers
Five Ballet Dancers
Five ballet dancers
Dancing on their toes.
They bend their knees and jump,
then off the stage one goes!
How many ballet dancers are left?

The clipart I used was purchased through the Etsy shop, MyClipArtStore

I asked children to follow the actions of the rhyme and some of them did. I'll admit, none of the children tried to dance on their toes (they have not yet fully developed their fine and gross motor skills to really attempt that yet). I did do my best to do it in front of them as I read the rhyme (which is kind of funny to think about because I do not have the best balance, LOL). Some children did bend their knees and jump. I actually think this would work really well with preschoolers because they would be more willing and able to do the actions. The kids liked counting with me though, as always! :) 

7) Book: Be Who You Are by Todd Parr

This is honestly my new favorite book this week. It is seriously adorable and spreads SUCH a good message, as do all Todd Parr books. The message at the end goes well with the theme of today's storytime:
"It doesn't matter what color you are, where you are from, or who's in your family. Everyone needs to be loved. Always love yourself and BE who are you ARE." -- Todd Parr
8) Affirmations: I Am by Cynthia Dawn
I am great!" (Arms wide) 
I  am smart!" (Finger to head)
I am strong! (Flex muscles) 
I am loved (Hug yourself)
Today is an awesome day! (Jump in the air, fist pump). 

Cynthia Dawn shared this in a post on Storytime Underground. It was very successful. I had the kids repeat the word and action after I said it once. The kids followed along so well and I might actually do this at every storytime because I loved it so much!! Thank you again Cynthia for sharing this, it was truly wonderful! 

9) Final Song: Laurie Berkner - My Energy (I used this song with shakers but it would work great with scarves too). 


This is me, this is me
This is me and my energy
This is me, this is me
This is me and my energy
I'm gonna wiggle my legs
I'm gonna click my heels
I'm gonna stomp my feel
Because I have energy
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 
I'm gonna wave my arms
I'm gonna shake my hips
I'm gonna jump to the sky
Because I have energy

This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 

I'm gonna clap my hands
I'm gonna shake my head
I'm gonna yell out loud
Because I have energy
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 

And it's the only thing that I can be
Yeah I'm the only thing that I can be
Me! Me! Energy! Me! Me! Energy!
Me! Me! Energy! Me! Me! Me!

10) Early Literacy Tip: 
Raise a Confident Child by Playing Together. You will learn a lot about your child—and yourself—during play. Playtime gives your child the message, “You are worth my time. You are a valuable person.” It is well known that children learn through play. It improves a child’s behavior by giving him feelings of importance and accomplishment. Instead of viewing playtime as a chore, use it to make an investment in your child’s behavior.

Tip brought to you by Dr. Sears, the author of The Baby Book.

11) Playtime & Actvity: If parents wanted to, they had the chance to trace their child's hand and then make fingerprints on their paper. It was really cute, even though it did leave children's fingertips a fun shade of blue lol. Make sure to use washable ink for this activity! 

Additional Fingerplays:

Nice Fingers (modified from the fingerplay, "Not So Crazy Fingers" in the book Artsy Toddler by Carol Garnett Hopkins. I chose to use the word nice instead since this storytime was focusing on positive traits and crazy can be taken as a bad thing)

I have nice ears (Point to ears)
And a nice nose (Rub nose)
Nice shoulders (Wiggle shoulders)
And nice toes (wiggle toes)
Nice hair (Pat hair)
And a nice chin (point to chin)
And my nice fingers sit quietly like so (Fold hands together into lap). 

All of Me by Jessica McDonald (found on Pinterest, Play Learn Love
My hands are for clapping
My arms can hug tight
My fingers can snap
Or can turn out the night
My legs are for jumping
My eyes help me see
This is my body
And I love all of me!

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